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CHAPTER 11

Meetings of Board
Board to meet at least once in every three calendar months (Section 285)
Question 1
The Board of directors of ABC Ltd. met thrice in the year 2004 and the 4th Meeting, though
called, could not be held for want of quorum.
Examine with reference to the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, the following:
(i)

Whether any provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 have been contravened?

(ii)

Is a Director bound to attend the Board Meetings and when his frequent absence from
the Board Meeting may be excused?

Answer
(i)

As per section 285 of the Companies Act, 1956, a company must hold a meeting of its
Board of directors at least once in every three calendar months and there should be at
least four such meetings every year. However, the Central Government may by
notification in the official Gazette, direct these provisions will not apply in relation to any
class of companies or will apply in relation thereto subject to such exceptions,
modifications or conditions as may be specified in the notification. But in terms of section
288(2), a company shall not be deemed to have contravened the provisions of section
285 where the meeting had been called but could not be held for want of quorum.

(ii) Though a director is not so bound to attend the Board meetings, nonetheless, he will be
guilty of breach of duty if he fails to attend the Board meetings with reasonable regularity
without sufficient cause being shown for his non-attendance. Willful non-attendance on
his part may give rise to his liability on ground of negligence if it is patently prejudicial
either to the company or to the general body of shareholders. Fairly frequent absence
from the Board meetings may, however, be excused if the entire control is exercised by a
single director or if the Board is pretty large in number (Re Denhom & Co. D.25 ch. D.
752 Marquis of Butes Case (1892)2 Ch. 100). The fewer the directors, the more onerous
is the duty to attend. In terms of section 283 (1) (g), the office of a director shall become
vacant if he absents himself from three consecutive meetings of the Board or from all
meeting for a continous period of three months, whichever is longer, without obtaining
leave of absence from the Board.
Question 2
(i)

What is the procedure to be followed, when a board meeting is adjourned for want of
quorum?

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(ii)

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How is a resolution by circulation passed by the Board or its Committee.

Answer
(i)

Section 288 of the Companies Act, 1956 provides that, if a Board meeting could not be
held for want of quorum, then, unless the articles otherwise provide, the meeting shall
automatically stand adjourned till the same day in the next week, at the same time and
place, or if that day is a public holiday, till the next succeeding day which is not a public
holiday, at the same time and place. It is also provided that section 285 (i.e. frequency of
Board meetings) shall not be deemed to have been contravened merely by reason of the
fact that a meeting of the Board which had been called in compliance with the terms of
that provision, could not be held for want of quorum.

(ii) Section 289 of the Companies Act, 1956 provides for passing a resolution by circulation,
or what are commonly known as circular resolutions. No such resolution shall be deemed
to have been duly passed by the Board or a committee thereof, of a company, unless the
following conditions are complied with, viz:
(a) the draft resolution, together with supporting papers has been circulated, to all the
directors, or members of the Committee of the quorum for a Board meeting then in
India, not being less in number than the quorum fixed for a meeting of the Board or
committee, and
(b) to all other directors of the Board or members of the Committee who are not in
India, at their usual address in India, and
(c) the same has been approved by such of the directors then in India, or by a majority
of them, who are entitled to vote on the resolution.
Question 3
PQR Limited held three board meetings till 31st October, 2008 during the financial year 2008.
The next board meeting was due to be held on 27th December, 2009, but for want of quorum
the meeting could not be held. A group of shareholders complained that the Company has
violated the provisions of section 285 of the Companies Act, 1956 in not holding the required
board meeting. Further, Mr. P and Mr. Q who are the directors of the Company informed the
Company their inability to attend the meeting because the notice of the meeting was not
served on them. Discuss whether there is any default on the part of the Company and the
consequences thereof. What will be the quorum in the given situation?
Answer
Section 285 of the Companies Act, 1956 requires Board of Directors to meet at least once in
every three months, respective of whether it is the board of a public Company or a private
Company and at least four such meetings must be held in every year. However, the Central
Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that these provisions will not
apply in relation to any class of companies or will apply in relation thereto subject to such
exceptions, modifications or conditions as may be specified in the notification.

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As per section 288 of the Act, if a meeting of the Board could not be held for want of quorum,
then, unless the articles otherwise provide, the meeting shall automatically stand adjourned till
the same day in the next week, at the same time and place, or if that day is a public holiday,
till the next succeeding day which is not a public holiday, at the same time and place.
The provisions of section 285 shall not be deemed to have been contravened merely by
reason of the fact that a meeting of the Board which had been called in compliance with the
terms of that Section could not be held for want of a quorum.
As the meeting could not be held for want of quorum, it cannot be said that PQR Ltd has
violated the provisions of section 285 of the Act.
Notice of every meeting has to be served in writing on each director for the time being in India,
and at his usual address in India to every other director (Section 286). Every officer of the
Company whose duty is to serve the notice as aforesaid and who fails to do so shall be
punishable with fine extending to ` 1000 (Section 286).
As no notice, was served on Mr. P and Mr. Q who are the directors of the company,
responsible for the default shall be punishable with fine to the extent of one thousand rupees.
The Supreme Court, in case of Parmeshwari Prasad vs. Union of India.(1974) has held that
the resolutions passed in the board meeting shall not be valid, since notice to all the Directors
was not given in writing. Notice must be given to each director in writing. Hence, even though
the directors concerned knew about the meeting, the meeting shall not be valid and
resolutions passed at the meeting also shall not be valid.
In relation to board meeting quorum implies fully qualified and disinterested directors who
must be present at the meeting, so as to enable the board of which they are the constituents
to legally transact the business thereat. According to section 287 the quorum of board meeting
is one third of the total strength of board (any fraction contained in the said one third being
rounded of as one) or two directors whichever is higher. The total strength is to be derived
after deducting the number of directors whose offices are vacant.
Notice of meetings (Section 286)
Question 4
A director goes abroad for a period of more than 3 months and an alternate director has been
appointed in his place under section 313(1). During the period of absence of the original
director, a board meeting was called. In this connection, with reference to the provisions of the
Companies Act, 1956, advise whom should the notice of Board meeting be given to the
original director or to the alternate director?
Answer
Notice of every Board meeting has to be served in writing on each director for the time being
in India, and at his usual address in India to every other director. Every officer of the company
whose duty is to serve the notice as aforesaid and who fails to do so shall be punishable with
fine extending to ` 1000 (section 286). It is usually the secretary of the company on whom it

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casts the duty to serve the notice as aforesaid. It should be noted that the company is not
liable for the default in the service of the said notice; it is only the defaulting officer
who
is subject to the said penalty. Although there is no legal precedence in this regard, it would be
a prudent practice on strictly construing section 286 that the notice should be served to the
alternate director as well as on the original director who is outside India for the time being.
Question 5
The Board of Directors of M/s Infotech Consultants Limited, registered in Calcutta, proposes to
hold the next board meeting in the month of May, 2000.They seek, your advice in respect of
the following matters:
(i)

Can the board meeting be held in Chennai, when all the directors of the company reside
at Calcutta?

(ii)

Whether the board meeting can be called on a public holiday and that too after business
hours as the majority of the directors of the company have gone to Chennai on vacation.

(iii) Is it necessary that the notice of the board meeting should specify the nature of business
to be transacted?
Advise with reference to the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956
Answer
(i)

There is no difficulty in holding the board meeting at Chennai even if all the directors of
the company reside at Calcutta and the registered office is situated at Calcutta provided
requirements regarding signing of register of contracts, etc. are complied with.

(ii) Under provisions of section 166 of the Companies Act, 1956, the annual general meeting
shall be held during business hours and on a day that is not a public holiday. There is no
such provision in the Act with regard to board meetings. Therefore, in the absence of any
specific restrictive provision, the board meeting can be held even on a public holiday and
out of the business hours. The term public holiday in this context should be understood.
According to the proviso to Section 2 (38) no day declared by the Central Government to
be a public holiday shall be deemed to be a public holiday unless the declaration was
notified before the issue of the notice of the meeting.
(iii) If the articles of association of the company are silent, the notice of board meeting is not
required to specify the nature of business to be transacted thereat [Compagnie de
Mayville v. Whitley (1896) 1 Ch. 788 (CA)]. If, however, the articles provide otherwise,
then the notice must specify the nature of business to be transacted. All said and done, a
better course seems to be that the notice should specify the purpose of the meeting, if it
is an extra-ordinary or special meeting.
Question 6
The Articles of Association of M/s ABC Ltd. provide that a meeting of the Board of directors
shall be held at 11.00 A.M. on the last day of every quarter ending on 31st March, 30th June,

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30th September and 31st December. Relying on the said provision, the company did not send
notices to the directors in respect of a board meeting held on 31.3.2002. Some of the
directors have questioned the validity of the board meeting on the ground that individual
notices have not been sent to directors.
or
The Articles of Association of Big Limited provide that a meeting of the Board of Directors of
the company shall be held at 11.00 A.M. on the last day of every quarter ending 31st March,
30th June, 30th September and 31st December. Relying on such a clause in the Articles, the
company did not send notices to the directors in respect of the board meeting held on 30th
September, 2008. Some of the directors have questioned the validity of the board meeting on
the ground that individual notices have not been sent to the directors. Examine the validity of
the following with reference to the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 and/or
decided case laws.
Answer
If the Articles of Association of Big Limited provide that a meeting of the board of directors
shall be held on the last day of each quarter, it is not necessary that separate notices are
required to be served on the directors. It was held in the case of Arunachalam Chettiar vs.
Kaleshwarar Mills Ltd. (1957) I.M.L.J.254-A.I.R. 1957 Mad. 309 that where articles of the
company provide that there will be a meeting of the board of directors on the first Saturday of
every month, there will be no necessity of service of notice to individual director and such
clause in the articles of association is sufficient compliance of section 286(1) of the
Companies Act, 1956. In view of the said judgement the clause in the article is sufficient
compliance of the requirement of sending the notice for a board meeting and the contention of
some of the directors is not legally valid. However, as a good secretarial practice, notice for
every board meeting should be sent to all the directors eligible to receive the notice.
Question 7
XYZ Ltd. is a foreign collaborator in ABC Ltd incorporated in India under the Companies Act,
1956. The foreign collaborator holds 49% of the shareholding. The Board meetings of ABC Ltd
are usually held in India and sometimes meetings of the Board are called at a very short
notice for which there is a provision in the Articles of Association that during such situations
notices of the meetings of the Board can be sent by e-mail. State in this connection whether
such a provision in the Articles of Association of a foreign collaborated company is valid within
the purview of the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.
Answer
Section 286(1) provides that notice of every meeting of the Board of directors of a company
shall be given in writing to every director for the time being in India, and at his usual address
in India to every other director. The section does not prescribe the manner of giving notice.
Also, neither section 286 nor any other section prescribes the mode of sending the notice.
Therefore, where there is a provision in the articles that meetings can be called at a very short

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Corporate and Allied Laws

notice which is sent via email, such a clause in the articles is valid within the purview of the
provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. However, it should be ensured that holding of Board
meeting at a very short notice is not intended with a view to avoid presence of some directors
as such, otherwise it would tantamount to an act of oppression.
Question 8
The Articles of the company provide that there will be a meeting on the first Saturday of every
month, and no notice of the meeting will be given in this regard. State in this connection
whether there will be any necessity of the service of the notice under provisions of the
Companies Act, 1956 and whether the proceedings of the meeting will become invalid.
Answer
It has been held in Arunachalam Chettiar vs. Kaleshwarar Mills Ltd. (1957) I.M.L.J.254-A.I.R.
1957 Mad. 309 that where articles of the company provide that there will be a meeting on the
first Saturday of every month, there will be no necessity of the service of the notice under
Section 286(1) in as much as a provision in the articles is a sufficient compliance of Section
286(1). The Madras High Court has held that section 286 does not prescribe the form of notice
or the mode of its service and therefore, if the directors are duly informed that in future the
meetings would be held on the first Saturday of every month, there is no reason why it should
not be sufficient compliance of the statute.
Suppose, the above-mentioned notice, as required by Section 286(1) has not been served, in
such a situation the proceedings at the meeting shall not become invalid provided (i) all the
directors attend the meeting and do not raise any objection to the non-service of notice; or (ii)
where the absent directors make no complaint about the want of notice, particularly when the
proceedings are ratified at a subsequent meeting whereat the absentee directors are present
[Re State of Wyoming Syndicate (1901) 2 Ch. 431].
Question 9
State the legal requirements to be complied with by a public company in respect of a
Board Meeting.
Examine with reference to the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 whether notice
of a Board Meeting is required to be sent to the following persons:
(i)

Alternative Director;

(ii) An interested Director;


(iii) A Director who has expressed his inability to attend a particular Board Meeting;
(iv) A Director who has gone abroad.
Answer
Legal requirements to be complied with by a public company in respect of a Board
Meeting:

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(i)

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Frequency of meeting: According to Section 285 of the Companies Act, 1956, a


meeting of its Board of directors shall be held at least once in every three months
and at least four such meetings shall be held in every year.

(ii) Notice of meeting: According to Section 286 of the Act, notice of every meeting of
the Board of directors of a company shall be given in writing to every director for
the time being in India, and at his usual address in India to every other director.
(iii) Quorum for meetings: According to Section 287 of the Act, the quorum for a
meeting of the Board of directors of a company shall be one-third of its total
strength (any fraction contained in that one-third being rounded off as one), or two
directors, whichever is higher.
(iv) Adjourned meeting: According to Section 288 of the Act, if a meeting of the Board
could not be held for want of quorum, then, unless the articles otherwise provide,
the meeting shall automatically stand adjourned till the same day in the next week,
at the same time and place, or it that day is a public holiday, till the next
succeeding day which is not a public holiday, at the same time and place.
Notice of Board meeting
(i)

Alternate Director: Where a director goes abroad for a period of more than 3
months and an alternate director has been appointed in his place under
Section 313, the notice should be served to the alternate director as well as on
the original director who is outside India for the time being although there is
no legal precedence in this regard, it would be a prudent practice on strictly
construing Section 286.

(ii) An Interested Director: Notice must be given to a director even though he is


precluded from voting at the meeting on the business to be transacted [John
Shaw & Sons (Salford) Ltd. v Peter Shaw & John Shaw [1935] 2 KB 1132].
(iii) A Director who has expressed his inability to attend a particular Board
Meeting: If a director states that he will not be able to attend the next Board
meeting, notice must be given to that director [Re Portuguese Consolidated
Coffee Mines Steels Case 42 Ch. D. 160].
(iv) A director who has gone abroad: A director is entitled to a notice even though
he is outside India provided he has made sufficient arrangement with the
company for sending such notice to him. The right to receive notice cannot be
waived.
Quorum for meetings (Section 287)
Question 10
The Board meeting of MNO Ltd. was held on 10th May, 2008 at Chennai at 11a.m. At the time
of starting the Board meeting the number of directors present were 7.The total number of

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directors were 10. The board transacted ten items in the board meeting. At 12 noon after the
completion of four items in the agenda 4 directors left the meeting. Examine the validity of
these transactions explaining the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.
Answer
Section 287 of the Companies Act, 1956 provides for the quorum for meeting. The quorum for
a meeting of the Board of directors of a company shall be one third of its total strength (any
fraction contained in the said one third being rounded off as one), or two directors, whichever
is higher. Where at any time the number of interested directors exceeds or its equal to two
thirds of the total strength, the number of remaining directors, that is to say, the number of
directors who are not interested present at the meeting being not less than two shall be the
quorum during such time. In this case, the quorum is 4 (i.e. 1/3rd of 10=3 1/3 rounded of as 4).
Hence the quorum was present at the time of commencement of meeting.
As a rule, in the case of a meeting of the Board of directors, the meeting cannot transact any
business, unless a quorum is present at the time of transacting the business. It is not enough
that a quorum is present at the commencement of the business.
The quorum of the Board is required at every stage of the meeting and unless a quorum is
present at every stage, the business transacted is void. (Balakrishna vs. Balu Subudhi AIR
1949 Pat 184). In the given situation four items were transacted with the quorum and thus they
are valid. Six items were transacted after 4 Directors left the meeting resulting in the reduction
of quorum as only 3 Directors were present as against the required quorum of 4 Directors.
Such six transactions are void.
Question 11
ABC Ltd. has 12 directors on its Board and has the following clause in its Articles of
Association:
The questions arising at any meeting of the Board of directors or any Committee thereof shall
be decided by a majority of votes, except in cases where the Companies Act, 1956 expressly
provides otherwise.
In one of the meetings of the Board of directors of ABC Ltd., 8 directors were present. After
completion of discussion on a matter, voting was done. 3 directors voted in favour of the
motion, 2 directors voted against the motion while 3 directors abstained from voting.
You are required to state with reference to the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 whether
the motion was carried or not. It is clarified that the motion being voted upon was not
concerning a matter which requires consent of all the directors present in the meeting.
Answer
Regulation 74(1) of Table A of Schedule 1 to the Companies Act, 1956 provides that save as
otherwise expressly provided in the Companies Act, 1956, questions arising at any meeting of
the Board shall be decided by a majority of votes.

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In the problem given in the question, the similar article exists in the Articles of Association of
ABC Ltd. In the given case, only 8 directors out of a total strength of 12 directors are present
and out of those 8 directors present only 5 directors have exercised their votes. In such a
case, only those directors who are present and vote on a motion are considered for
determining whether the motion is carried or not. That means out of the 5 directors who voted
on the motion are to be considered. Accordingly, since number of directors who voted in
favour of the motion being 3, is higher than the number of directors who voted against the
motion being 2, the motion is carried or is considered to be passed by majority.
Question 12
The Articles of Association of XYZ Computers Limited provide for a maximum of 15 Directors.
But the company has only 10 Directors and for two of them representing Foreign
Collaborators, alternate Directors have been appointed. Board Meeting held on 1st August,
2003 was attended by 4 Directors including 2 Alternate Directors.
Examine with reference to the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 whether
quorum was present at the Board Meeting held on 1st August, 2003.
Will your answer be different, if the articles provide for a Quorum of 6 Directors?
Answer
Section 287 of the Companies Act, 1956 prescribes a quorum for meetings of Board of
directors of companies. According to section 287(2) quorum for a meeting of the Board of
directors of any company, public or private shall be one third of the total strength of the Board,
or two directors, whichever is higher. According to section 287(1), total strength means the
total strength of the Board of directors of a company as determined in pursuance of the Act,
after deducting there from the number of directors, if any, whose place may be vacant at the
time. Hence the total strength is 10 directors (excluding 2 alternate directors) even though the
Articles provide for a maximum of 15.
Section 287(2) provides that the quorum for a meeting of the Board of directors of a company
shall be one third of its total strength (any fraction contained in that one-third being rounded
off as one), or two directors, whichever is higher. Hence, in this case 1/3 of 10 i.e. 3 1/3, the
fraction being rounded off as one i.e. 4 is quorum.
The alternate directors present at a meeting will be counted for quorum, if the original director
is not present, the alternate directors present at a meeting will be counted for quorum. The
Board meeting held on 1.8.2003 was attended by 4 directors including 2 alternate directors
quorum was present at the meeting. Hence, it is a valid meeting.
Section 287 only provides for a minimum quorum. It does not forbid a company to fix a higher
quorum. A company in its articles cannot provide a quorum of lesser number of directors than
what is provided in section 287(2). However, it can provide for a higher number. Hence, if the
articles provide 6 as quorum, the meeting held on 1.8.2003 is not valid as it was attended only
by 4 directors.

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Question 13
Analyse and Advise with reference to the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, the following
situations.
(a) The Articles of a company want to fix the quorum for the Board Meeting.
(b) There are 9 directors in a company and out of which 2 offices of the directors have fallen
vacant. What will be the quorum for the Board Meeting?
(c) There are 15 directors in a company and during discussion of a particular item, 13 of the
directors are said to be interested. What shall be quorum of the meeting?
(d) Continuing with above situation, what will be your advise, when all the 15 directors are
said to be interested in the concerned resolution?
(e) What are the situations, when interested directors will be counted for the purpose of
counting quorum for the meetings of the Board?
Answer
(a) A quorum is the prescribed minimum number of qualified persons authorised to transact
the business at a meeting. In relation to a Board meeting quorum implies fully qualified
and disinterested directors who must be present at the meeting so as to enable the
Board of which they are the constituents to legally transact the business thereat. Section
287 only provides for a minimum quorum. It does not forbid a company to fix higher
quorum. A company in its articles can not provide a quorum of lesser number of directors
than what is provided in section 287 (2). However, it can provide for a higher number.
(b) Quorum is one third of the total strength of Board (any fraction contained in the said one
third being rounded of as one) or two directors whichever is higher. The total strength is
to be derived after deducting the number of directors whose offices are vacant.
Therefore, where total number of directors is 9 and 2 offices of the directors have fallen
vacant, we find: 1/3 of (9-2) = 1/3 of 7 = 2 1/3 directors. If the fraction of 3rd were to be
rounded off as one then 3, i.e. 2+1 directors would constitute the quorum for the Board
meetings.
(c) If at any time the number of the remaining directors exceeds or is equal to two thirds of
the total strength, the number of the remaining directors who are non-interested but
present at the meeting, not being less than two shall constitute the quorum. Accordingly
in the given problem, there are in all 15 directors and the Board meeting commences with
all the 15 directors. During the meeting, an item comes up for discussion in respect of
which 13 happen to be interested directors. In this case, in spite of the excess of the
interested directors being more than two-thirds, the prescribed minimum number of noninterested directors constituting the quorum, namely, 2 present at the meeting can to
transact the particular item of business.
(d) If all the 15 directors are interested in a particular item of business, the Act has not made
any direct provision to take with such a situation, but the Article 48 of Table A of

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Schedule 1 of the Act, provides a remedy. According to the said article, the Board may,
whenever it thinks fit, call an extraordinary general meeting. By invoking this Article, the
Board should get the aforesaid impasse resolved by the shareholders at the general
meeting. Since according to section 173(1) (b), all business in the case of any other
meeting than the annual general meeting is to be deemed special, by virtue of subsection (2) the notice of the extraordinary meeting must annex to it a statement setting
out all the material facts concerning the item of business, including, in particular, the
nature of the concern or interest there in of every director.
(e) The interested directors are excluded from the computation of the quorum under section
300(1). However, in the terms of section 300(2), the interested directors can be counted
for the purpose of quorum in the following cases, namely (a) where the company is a
private company which is neither a subsidiary nor a holding company of a public
company; (b) where the company is a private company which is a subsidiary of a public
company, in respect of any contract or arrangement entered into, or to be entered into,
by the private company with the holding company thereof; (c) where there is any contract
of indemnity against any loss which the directors or any one or more of them may suffer
by reason of becoming or being sureties or surety for the company; (d) in respect of any
contract or arrangement entered or to be entered into with a public company, or a private
company, which is a subsidiary of a public company in which the directors interest
consists solely (i) in his being a director holding shares of such number or value as to be
just enough and not more than that to qualify him for appointment as director, or (ii) in his
being a member holding not more than 2% of the paid-up share capital of the company;
(e) where it is a public company in respect of which the Central Government has, through
a notification in the Official Gazette, waived the necessity to comply with the
requirements of Section 300(1) on considerations of establishing or promoting any
industry, business or trade in the public interest.
Question 14
The Articles of Association of AB Limited provide for a maximum of 15 directors but the
company has only 10 directors. The Board Meeting held on 16th August, 2010 was attended
by 6 directors out of which 3 directors were interested in an item which was considered and
approved by 3 non-interested directors. Examine the validity of the resolution passed at the
Board Meeting explaining the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.
Answer
(a) Board Meeting: According to section 287(2) of the Companies Act, 1956, quorum for a
board meeting shall be one-third of total strength of the Board, or two directors,
whichever is higher.
(b) Directors whose place is vacant, should not be considered for the purpose of deciding
total strength of the Board [Section 287(1)(a)].
(c) Further, fraction of one-third should be rounded off as one [Section 287(2)].

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In this case Articles of Association of AB Ltd. provide for a maximum of 15 directors, but the
company has only 10 directors i.e. the total strength is 10. 1/3rd of total strength is 3.33,
fraction being rounded off as one. Hence the quorum for the Board Meeting is 4.
However, there is an exception. If the number of interested directors exceeds or is equal to
two thirds of total strength, the number of remaining directors who are not interested present
at the meeting being not less than 2 shall be the quorum during such meeting. [proviso to
section 287(2)]
Proviso to section 287(2) is not applicable in this case, as number of interested directors is
only less than two third of total strength.
The Board Meeting held on 16.8.2010 was attended by 6 directors out of which 3 directors
are interested and hence they cannot be counted for the purpose of forming a quorum
[section 287(1)(b)]. The number of non-interested directors is only 3 which is less than the
quorum. Hence the resolution passed at the Board Meeting in respect of an item where 3
directors are interested is not valid.
Question 15
A Board meeting could not be held for want of quorum and therefore it was adjourned to next
week, same time, same place. At the adjourned meeting also, the requisite quorum was not
present. What advise will you give with reference to the relevant provisions of the Companies
Act, 1956?
Answer
Inability to hold a Board meeting for want of quorum results in the automatic adjournment
thereof under section 288. According to section 191, a resolution passed at an adjourned
meeting is deemed as having been passed thereat itself; it does not date back to an earlier
date, i.e., the date of the original meeting. It would be worthwhile to recapitulate here the
provisions of sections 174(2) to (5), which deal with adjournment of the general meeting for
want of quorum so as to compare them with the provisions relating to adjournment of Board
meetings. Unless the article of a company whether public or private provide otherwise, if the
quorum is not present within half an hour from the time fixed for the general meeting, it shall
stand dissolved in case the meeting has been convened, under section 169, on the requisition
of members; in regard to any other case, it shall stand adjourned to the same day in the next
week at the same time and place of to such other day and at such other time and place as the
board may determine. If again at the adjourned meeting the quorum is not present within half
an hour of the scheduled time then the members present shall constitute the quorum. Section
288 does not provide that the directors present shall constitute the quorum. Thus, no Board
meeting can be held unless quorum is present.

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Procedure where meeting adjourned for want of quorum (Section 288)


Question 16
Some urgent items are left over in the agenda of Board meeting which concluded and decision
cannot be deferred till its next meeting
Answer
Items of business left unconsidered at the Board meeting and which cannot be deferred till the
next Board meeting may be referred to the Directors for consideration by circulation in terms
of section 289. For the purpose, of passing a resolution by circulation, requirement is that the
draft resolution along with the necessary papers should be circulated to all the directors then
in India, who are not below the quorum fixed for a board meeting and to all other directors at
their usual address in India and the resolution should be approved by the directors then in
India or by a majority of such of them, as are entitled to vote on the resolution.
Question 17
A meeting of the Board of No Holiday Ltd was held on a public holiday. However due to lack
of quorum, the proceedings of the meeting could not be held and therefore the Chairman of
the meeting decided with the consent of the majority that the Board meeting be adjourned to
next Monday. However, the date fixed for the adjourned meeting happened to be a public
holiday. Advise and draw your analogy with reference to the provisions of the Companies Act,
1956, whether the adjourned meeting of the Board can be held on a day which is a public
holiday.
Answer
Whether or not the Board meeting can be held on a public holiday and out of business hours is
a question open to conflict. Under section 288, the adjourned Board meeting is to be held on a
day which is not a holiday but no such restriction has been levied on the matter of holding the
original Board meeting. On the basis of the provision of section 288, one set of arguments
may be that like the adjourned meeting, the holding of the original Board meeting is equally a
normal and usual work of a company and that is why it should be held during usual business
hours and on a day, which is not a public holiday. On this analogy, a similar inference may be
drawn from the provision of section 166(2) as well, because it prescribes only for each annual
general meeting that it held on a day which is not a public holiday and during the business
hours and also because annual general meeting is normal work of the company. Another set
of arguments is that a meeting of the board can take place even on a public holiday and out of
business hours because there is not such restriction as contemplated either by section 166(2)
or by section 288. It would be prudent to subscribe to latter set of arguments. This is because
if the Legislature could think of imposing similar restrictions twice-once at the time of drafting
section 166(2) in respect of only annual general meeting and the other at the time of drafting
section 288 in respect of adjourned Board meetings-it could rationally think of similar
restrictions for the third time in respect of original Board meetings. If the human element of

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forgetfulness on the part of the draftsmen is to be given any consideration, even then it can be
upheld on the first occasion when section 166(2) was drafted. But definitely such forgetfulness
is not tenable on second occasion when section 288 was enacted especially in respect of
adjourned Board meeting. Had it been the intention of the legislature, it could easily enact a
provision and add it as a sub-section to section 288. It, therefore, seems that the legislature
did not deliberately think it necessary to provide for original board meeting to be held on a day
other than a public holiday and during usual business hours. Therefore, in the absence of any
specific provisions in Act it seems that the original Board meeting can be held even on a
holiday and out of the business hours.
Question 18
Examine, with reference to the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, the
validity/legality of the following:
A meeting of the Board of directors of OPQ Co. Ltd. due to be held on 30.9.2001 did not take
place for want of quorum. As a result, the Company did not hold any Board meeting for the
quarter ended 30.9.2001 and there is a complaint that the Company has violated the
provisions of the Act in this regard.
Answer
Suppose a meeting of the Board has been convened within the prescribed period in strict
conformity with the said section but for want of quorum, the said meeting could not take place.
In such a situation, the meeting automatically stands adjourned by virtue of section 288(1) till
the same day in the next week, at the same time and place. And if that same day is a public
holiday, then the meeting stands adjourned till the next succeeding day, which is not a public
holiday, at the same time and place. And because of this adjournment the meeting is
obviously held after the period specified in section 285.
According to the provisions contained in section 288(2) of the Companies Act, 1956, the
provisions of section 285 relating to the holding of at least one Board meeting in a quarter
cannot be deemed to have been contravened merely by reason of the fact that a Board
meeting which had been called in compliance with the terms of the said section could not be
held for want of a quorum. Thus the allegation that the company has contravened the
provisions of section 285 in the matter of holding the Board meeting is not correct.
Passing of Resolution by Circulation (Section 289)
Question 19
In the course of administration of the affairs of a limited company, Chairman of the Board of
directors came across a matter which required the approval by way of a board resolution. In
the prevailing circumstances, it is not possible to convene and hold a Board meeting. The
chairman approaches you to advise him of the way and the relevant procedure to obtain such
approval without holding the Board meeting. Advise the chairman, taking into account the
relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.

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Answer
Passing of Resolution by Circulation: As per the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956,
several Board Resolutions are required in course of carrying on the affairs of a limited
company. But it may sometimes so happen that a Board Meeting cannot be held.
To meet such eventualities, the Companies Act, 1956 contains the solution in section 289.
According to this section, the board resolution can be passed by way of circulation. It may
however be noted that the matter listed in the provisions of section 292 and other sections
requiring passing of resolution at the Board meetings only cannot be passed by way of
circulation and can be passed only at the Board Meeting. The Chairman of the company is
advised that the approval in the form of a Board Resolution may be obtained by way of
passing the relevant resolution by circulation if the matter is not covered by the barring
sections of the said Act.
The procedure to be adopted for the purpose shall be as follows:
(i)

Send the draft of the resolution in duplicate together with the necessary papers, if any, to
all the directors then in India. It is to be ensured that the number of such directors is not
less than the directors required to form the quorum for a Board meeting.

(ii)

Send the draft of the resolution in duplicate together with the necessary papers, if any, to
all other directors at their usual address in India.

(iii) Obtain one copy of the draft resolution duly signed by the directors, whether approving
the resolution or disapproving the same. It may be noted that the resolution shall be
deemed to be passed by the Board if all the directors then in India or majority of all
directors as are entitled to vote on the matter approve the resolution by signing one copy
and returning the same to the company.
(iv) The resolution passed by circulation shall be placed before the next Board Meeting for
confirmation.
The resolution shall be recorded in the minutes of the next Board Meeting.
Question 20
Proximo Limited has 9 directors out of whom 3 directors have gone abroad. The Chairman had
an urgent matter to be approved by the Board of directors which could not be postponed till
the next Board meeting. The Company, therefore, circulated the resolution for approval of the
Directors. 4 out of 6 Directors in India approved the resolution. The Company claimed that the
resolution was passed. Examine with reference to the provisions of section 289 of the
Companies Act, 1956 the validity of the resolution.
Answer
According to section 289 of the Companies Act, 1956, a resolution by circulation shall not be
deemed to have been passed, unless the resolution has been circulated in a draft, together
with the necessary papers, if any to all the directors then in India (not less in number than the

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Corporate and Allied Laws

quorum fixed for a meeting of the Board) as the case may be, and all other directors at their
usual addresses in India, and has been approved by such of the directors as are then in India
or by majority of such of them, as are entitled to vote on the resolution. In this case, the
resolution has been approved by 4 directors out of 6 in India; the majority of total number of
directors who were entitled to vote was 5 as against 4 directors who approved the resolution.
Thus both the alternate conditions were not fulfilled. The resolution cannot be deemed to have
been passed.
Validity of acts of directors (Section 176 of the Companies Act, 2013)
Question 21
State whether the acts done by the Board meeting be invalid if it was found afterwards
that there was some defect in the appointment of directors or any person acting as a
director?
Answer
All Acts done by the Board meeting or by its committee meeting or by any person
acting as a director shall be as valid as if every such director or such person had been
duly appointed and was qualified to be a director. The validity of all such acts done is
not affected even if it discovered later on that there was some defect in the appointment
of any one or more of such directors or of any person acting as a director. The said acts
will also remain unaffected even the directors are later on discovered to be disqualified.
This provision has been intended to prevent the validity of transactions from being
questioned where there has been a slip in the appointment of a director. But the
provision cannot be utilized to ignore or override the substantive provisions pertaining
to such appointment. It is applicable only to acts of directors whose appointment or
qualification is later on discovered to be faulty. Where, however, their appointments
have not taken place at all but they merely choose to act on the companys behalf, the
protection prescribed by section 176 of the Companies Act, 2013 cannot be invoked
[Morris vs. Danssen (1964) I, A.E.R. 586 (H, L.)] This is because the said subsequent
discovery must be a discovery of the defect; it must not be discovery of facts which go
to constitute the defect [British Asbestos Co. vs. Body (1903) 2 Ch. 439].
Question 22
Mr. MTP was appointed as a director at the Annual General Meeting of a limited
company held on 30th September, 2005 and he carried on his duties and functions as a
director. In the month of August, 2006, it was found out that there were certain
irregularities in his appointment and on 31st August, 2006, his appointment was
declared invalid. But Mr. MTP continued to act as director even after 31st August, 2006.
You are required to state, with reference to the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013,
whether the acts done by Mr. MTP are valid and binding upon the company ?

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Answer
In accordance with the provision of the Companies Act, 2013 as contained in section
176, acts done by a person as a director shall be valid, notwithstanding that it may
afterwards be discovered that his appointment was invalid by reason of any defect or
disqualification or had terminated by virtue of any provision contained in this Act or in
the articles:
The Proviso to section 176 of the Companies Act, 2013, further provide that nothing in
this section shall be deemed to give validity to acts done by a director after his
appointment has been shown to the company to be invalid or to have terminated.
In view of the provision of section 176 of the Companies Act, 2013, the acts done by Mr.
MTP prior to 31st August, 2006 are to be treated as valid and binding on the Company.
However in view of the Proviso to the said section 176 of the Companies Act, 2013, the
acts done by Mr. MTP after 31st August, 2006 shall be deemed to be invalid and not
binding upon the Company.
Minutes of Board Meeting
Question 23
Accurate Arcs Ltd. maintains the Minutes Book of the Board Meetings in loose-leaf system and
get them bound once in three months. Can it do so? Board meetings were held on 24th March,
2000 and 15th April, 2000. Mr. Rameshwar, who was the Chairman of these two Board
Meetings died on 1.5.2000, without signing the Minutes. How should be the Minutes be signed
and by whom?
Answer
Ordinarily Minutes cannot be kept in loose-leaf system. The Department of Company Affairs
(Now, Ministry of Corporate Affairs), however, has expressed that it would refrain from taking
any action against a company which maintained its minutes in the loose-leaf form, provided
that adequate safeguards are taken against falsification, and loose-leaves are bound in books
at reasonable intervals, say six months.
In this case, since the Minutes Book leaves are bound once in three months (January to
March, 2000), and as such the same is in order.
The minutes of the Board Meeting are required to be written within a period of 30 days from
the date of the meeting held. [Section 193(1)]. But there cannot be any insistence that the
same must be signed within a period of 30 days from the date of the Board Meeting. (Dept.s
circular No. 25/76 dated 1.9.1976). According to section 193(1A), the minutes of a Board
Meeting may be signed by the Chairman of the said meeting or the Chairman of the next
succeeding meeting.
In this case, Mr. Rameshwar, who was the Chairman of the Board Meeting held on 24.3.2000
and 15.4.2000 died on 1.5.2000 without signing the minutes.

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The Chairman of the Board Meeting held after 15th April, 2000 for the first time may sign the
minutes of Board Meeting, held on 15th April, 2000 in accordance with section 193(1A)(a).
According to the provisions of section 193(1) read with section 193(1A) the minutes of Board
Meeting held on 24th March, 2000 should have been signed by Mr. Rameshwar himself as he
was the Chairman of the Board Meeting held on 24th March, 2000 as well as the Chairman of
the next succeeding meeting. There is no specific provision in the Companies Act, 1956 as to
the person who can sign the minutes of Board Meeting held on 24th March, 2000 in this case.
Hence a board meeting may be convened and the Chairman of the said meeting may sign the
minutes of Board Meeting held on 24th March, 2000.

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